World's Fastest Indian

World's Fastest Indian

4.4 7
Director: Roger Donaldson

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Diane Ladd, Paul Rodriguez


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The true story of a man who never gave up on his dreams of doing something big -- and doing it very, very fast -- provides the basis for this engaging comedy drama. Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins) was born in 1899 in Invercargill, New Zealand. From childhood, Munro had a passion for machines that moved fast, and when he was 21 he boughtSee more details below


The true story of a man who never gave up on his dreams of doing something big -- and doing it very, very fast -- provides the basis for this engaging comedy drama. Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins) was born in 1899 in Invercargill, New Zealand. From childhood, Munro had a passion for machines that moved fast, and when he was 21 he bought his first motorcycle, an Indian model with a 600 cc engine. Motorcycles became an obsession that stayed with Munro for the rest of his life, as he constantly tinkered with his beloved Indian machine, modifying the engine and frame, determined to see just how fast he could make it run. In 1967, Munro decided it was high time he proved to himself and the world just what he and his machine could do, and he booked passage for the United States, with the goal of breaking the world's land speed record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats. As Munro made his way across America to Utah, he discovered not everyone took his dream seriously, but some did, and he made a handful of friends along the way, including Ada (Diane Ladd), a widow who fell for Munro's rough charm, and Fernando (Paul Rodriguez), a car dealer who offered to help him. However, when he finally arrived at Bonneville, Munro was told his machine was unsafe to participate in the time trials, and -- far worse -- he was too old to ride. It took some intervention from a ranking American driver, Jim Moffett (Chris Lawford), before Munro was given his chance to ride the famous Salt Flats. The World's Fastest Indian was written and directed by Roger Donaldson, who early in his career made a documentary about the real Burt Munro, Offerings to the Gods of Speed.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A feel-good film for viewers of a certain age, The World's Fastest Indian is the inspiring true story of New Zealander Burt Munro, the 64-year-old amateur motorcycle racer who set a land-speed record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967. As portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, Burt is a mild-mannered, affable local eccentric who suffers from angina and other infirmities but ignores the advice of doctors to "take it easy." After retooling a battered 1920 Indian Twin Scout motorcycle, the financially strapped but boundlessly optimistic speed demon journeys to America. Overcoming considerable obstacles, and effortlessly finding friends -- and lovers -- along the way, Burt ultimately goes on to astonish the naysayers. Such is the strength of Munro's character (and Hopkins's carefully modulated performance) that the outcome of his pursuit becomes secondary -- we're invested in the man, not the motorcycle. Having already examined Munro's feat in an earlier documentary, writer-director Roger Donaldson (The Recruit) brings an obvious affection for his subject and passion for the sport to a film that has a winning blend of both charms and thrills.
All Movie Guide
For a film that celebrates speed, The World's Fastest Indian certainly doesn't move very quickly. At least 30 minutes could have been chopped from the meandering true story of Burt Munro's 1967 attempt to break the land speed record with his Indian motorcycle. Roger Donaldson's film observes the following school of thought: If you don't see Burt brush his teeth, can you really be sure they got brushed? The movie's engine warms up nicely in Burt's New Zealand home, where there's plenty of local character to contextualize this senior-citizen speed fetishist and his tendency to flout convention. But once Burt goes to America, that Kiwi charm is gone, mostly because Anthony Hopkins can't transplant it there himself. Despite peppering his speech with the words "mate" and "crikey," Hopkins sounds more Scottish or even Irish than he does anything else. This isn't to say Hopkins' Burt isn't extremely likable -- he is, and that's what makes The World's Fastest Indian come across favorably as a pleasant little diversion, rather than the tension-free dramatic failure it actually is. Still, this pleasantry steadily begins to suffocate, as Burt meets and spends about five minutes of screen time with one helpful American after another, addressing challenges that turn out to be nothing but minor hiccups. He's shaken down by an immigrant cabbie and a Sunset Boulevard flower saleswoman, but otherwise, numerous nice people bend over backward for this determined old SOB from halfway across the world, and that just seems too easy. What's missing is a palpable sense of why going fast is important to Burt, how he developed his passion for mechanics and racing, and the details of his previous attempts at setting records, of which there were several. In a two-hour film, that could have easily been wrenched in.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
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[Wide Screen]
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Bonus film: The original documentary (1971)- "Offerings to the God of Speed" featuring historical footage of the real Burt Munro (Also directed by Roger Donaldson); Special features: Southland: Burt's hometown of Invercargill; The making of "The World's Fastest Indian"; Feature commentary with writer/director Roger Donaldson; Deleted scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anthony Hopkins Burt Munro
Diane Ladd Ada
Paul Rodriguez Fernando
Aaron Murphy Tom
Annie Whittle Fran
Chris Bruno Bob Higby
Carlos Lacamara Cabbie
Jessica Cauffiel Wendy
Patrick Flueger Rusty
Walton Goggins Marty Dickerson
Bruce Greenwood Jerry
Joe Howard Otto Donner
Christopher Lawford Jim Moffet
Gavin Grazer Mike
William Lucking Rolly Free
Eric Pierpoint Earl
Laurel Moglen Ali
Chris Williams Tina
Brian Clark Cop

Technical Credits
Roger Donaldson Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Douglas Cameron Sound/Sound Designer
Nancy Cavallaro Costumes/Costume Designer
Dianne Crittenden Casting
Masaki Fukasawa Executive Producer
John Gilbert Editor
Robert Gillies Production Designer
David Gribble Cinematographer
Charles Hannah Executive Producer
Gary Hannam Producer
Jane Holland Costumes/Costume Designer
Masaharu Inaba Executive Producer
Satoru Iseki Executive Producer
John Kelly Co-producer
Barrie M. Osborne Executive Producer
J. Peter Robinson Score Composer
Diana Rowan Casting
Dennis Washington Production Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The World's Fastest Indian
1. Wake-Up Call [4:16]
2. Perfect Recipe [5:53]
3. Celebration [7:03]
4. Good Morning [4:09]
5. Doctor's Orders [6:59]
6. Bonneville Bound [6:31]
7. All Aboard [4:34]
8. Sunset Strip [6:04]
9. A Sweetheart [4:21]
10. A Favor [5:49]
11. His Motorcycle [6:31]
12. New Friend [4:24]
13. Blade of Grass [4:02]
14. Traveling Soldier [5:08]
15. War Stories [3:19]
16. The Speedway [4:39]
17. Sizing Up the Competition [4:14]
18. Rules and Regulations [4:49]
19. Not Finished Yet [4:23]
20. Bending the Rules [5:14]
21. Souvenirs [2:27]
22. Special Gift [2:13]
23. Now or Never [4:47]
24. Return Home / End Credits [5:11]

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